The publication this week of the Michelin stars for 2018 has created a sensation up and down the country. Here in Lille, we’re celebrating the naming of a 3rd restaurant in the city to have a Michelin star.
The latest addition is Le Marcq, in Marcq-en-Baroeul, one of the districts that makes up the Métropole Européenne de Lille.
I’m ashamed – and somewhat surprised – to say I haven’t been to Le Marcq. Yet.
Its chef, Abdelkader Belfatmi, had served his time at other well-respected restaurants in the area, so his elevation to star status came as a surprise to few in the know.
He joins Christophe Hagnerelle at the Val d’Auge in Bondues and Thibaut Gamba at La Table at the Clarance Hôtel (pictured) in Vieux Lille. The latter is the successor to Nicolas Pourcheresse and has done well to keep the restaurant’s star.
We spent a weekend at the Clarance Hôtel before we moved to Lille – long before ever we imagined we would come and live here, in fact. We booked ourselves a table at the hotel’s restaurant only as an afterthought, but it became one of the highlights of our weekend.
Damon certainly enjoyed the regal high-backed chairs in the restaurant.
We said that day that we thought the chef must be aiming for a Michelin star. When he was awarded his star a couple of months later, we were delighted for him.
We were less delighted when the menu prices shot up by €10 each, but hey.
“We booked ourselves a table at the hotel’s restaurant only as an afterthought, but it became one of the highlights of our weekend”
So now, with a new chef being fêted at the Clarance, we must go back. And, of course, we have 2 more restaurants in the city to try too, plus another 10 in the rest of Nord and Pas-de-Calais.
The stars have been let out – and I think I may have to do the same with my belt.